In her large-scale canvases Caroline Hands works with vibrant colour and dynamic gesture to create joyful, exuberant paintings that celebrate life in all its diversity. Her subjects range from the abundance of nature, found in luxuriant gardens and dream like landscapes, to the resilience of the human spirit in touchingly direct portraits and expressive depictions of dancers and performers.
From childhood visits to the British Museum, Caroline developed a fascination with myths, legends and ancient civilisations which has fed her imagination ever since. Her interest in Asia led to extensive travel and extended visits to China, during which she produced a major body of paintings embracing the environments, histories and cultures she encountered there.
Caroline’s lifelong love of dance is a powerful presence as she captures dancers in action, from the bohemian clubs of 1960s London, to the stylised movements of traditional Chinese opera. Dance also informs Caroline’s approach to painting as she layers successive grounds and colour fields, using a range of strokes to build rhythms and patterns that interweave with a fluid almost impulsive energy.
As a practitioner of some 50 years, Caroline is a highly accomplished artist working at the height of her powers, yet she resists set techniques and methods and continually challenges herself. Her work retains a child-like immediacy and freshness, a sheer delight at being in and looking at the world, and a desire to share that uplifting vision with those around her.
Caroline Hands studied mixed media art in London in the 1960s. She was based in rural Herefordshire for many years where she ran community art projects and workshops at events such as Hay on Wye Literature Festival. In 2014 she returned to London where she has a studio in Woolwich. Caroline has exhibited in galleries across the UK and abroad including Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and XYZ Gallery Beijing.